How to Write a Response Essay in Criminal Justice

What are Criminal Justice Studies?

Students taking criminal justice studies learn about the three components of the justice system, that is, the courts, policing and corrections. Criminal justice and corrections studies includes the psychology behind criminal behavior, criminology theory, and research methods for criminology. People working in this field help the society operate effectively and safely.

What Does a Criminal Justice and Corrections Major Involve?

A criminal justice major gives students an education that focuses on liberal arts and sciences as well as corrections-specific and criminal justice training. This major focuses on studying the judicial process, corrections, criminal law, crime prevention, administration theory and evaluations, and juvenile justice. The major draws on topics from sociology, psychology, communications, political science, and history to supplement students’ coursework. A student may decide to specialize in a specific criminal justice area like corrections and case management, crisis management, homeland security, forensic science, and law enforcement. For example, a specialization in law enforcement probably focuses on police interactions with members of the community all over the levels of the justice system. Courses in that specialty can cover daily police administrative operations, police organizations structure, and law enforcement ethics. If you are unsure about the field of study to choose, you can opt for a generalist in criminal justice and corrections. Students take the theories outside of the classroom through internships and filed experience with the police or the FBI and apply the knowledge in agency situations.

What is a Response Essay?

A response essay paper is where the writer jots down his personal viewpoint and learnings about a topic along with the values, core beliefs and the ideas behind the viewpoint and learnings. Response essays are not terse or concise in nature. Usually, the reader already has an inkling of the work but may like to know your thought process and opinion about the piece of work. The attitudes, beliefs, concepts, and most essentially, values coupled with their main understanding is the writer’s only concern. The response paper is uncensored, relaxed, and vivid in nature portraying even the little details that captivated you. By expressing sound responses, inform your reader of what observed, watched, listened, or read about the piece and evaluated it through your lens.

Exploration of Concepts and Terminologies in Criminal Justice

Writing an essay in criminal justice may be considerably different from any other form of essay writing. The concepts and terms may differ in meaning in the common language. It is crucial to consider the common terms and concepts before you start to write a response essay. The following are some if the terminologies and concepts you will come across:

  • Crime. This is an omission or action that violates the penal code. Crime is punishable by sanction, imprisonment, or fine.
  • Criminal Intent. A verifiable motivate to break the law.
  • Felony. This is a serious crime that carries a sentence of over one-year
  • Evidence. A legal action or omission or proof.
  • Crime Scene. This is the environment where a crime is assumed to have occurred.

It is essential to be aware that this is not a comprehensive list of terms used when writing criminal justice essays. You should take your time and explore those that suit your essay.

Response Essay Structure

The first step in writing a response essay is to develop an outline and a format. Despite having relevant information, your essay may fail to achieve its intended purpose if your ideas are disorganized. A criminal justice response essay paper follows the same structure as other types of essays. It should begin with an introduction, then proceed to the main body and end with a conclusion.

  • Introduction

This is the section where you describe the topic in a general way. Start by presenting some background information on the issue, its prevalence and its effects on the selected population. Criminal justice essays may sometimes require the student to argue and counter-argue on the given topic. Irrespective of the topic, you must always start a criminal justice essay with the introduction. Tyre and make the reader understand the issue under discussion by giving them a brief overview. However, do not spend half of the paper explaining the topic. Try to be concise, but relevant. Avoid collecting and presenting a lot of irrelevant information that is of no value to the essay. You need to create a positive impression at this section of the paper.

  • Main Body

The main body is the heart of a paper. This is the section that earns you points. Try and showcase your positive writing skills, ingenuity and extensive understanding of the subject in this part. The initial consideration that one should take into consideration is paragraphing. It is pointless to spend a lot of time collecting information only for you to aimlessly throw it on the paper. Your paper’s ideas should be organized in a manner that allows for coherence and fluency.

The paragraphs you compose for your response essay in criminal justice should have a length of 100 – 150 words. The length is ideal as it allows the reader to follow your ideas without getting bored. Do not be tempted to write large paragraphs trying to justify your mastery of the concept or content. The positive gesture will be appreciated but it may cause more harm than good in regards to your paper. Your reader may get lost midway trying to comprehend your ideas. If you wish to have a successful essay, resist the temptation of writing lengthy sentences and long paragraphs. Also, do not forget to start each paragraph with a topic sentence, which is the primary idea that you aim to support with different arguments.

Furthermore, “equality before the law” is applicable in all criminal justice papers. Present both sides of the argument in the paper’s main body. When gathering information for a criminal justice paper, consider both arguments and counter-arguments. For example, when arguing on the death penalty, do not be restricted to the views that support it. You should also present arguments of people who oppose the policy, which will create the impression that you are an unbiased law-enforcer.

  • Conclusion

This is the paragraph that holds a summary of the content included in the introduction and main body paragraphs. Recap the main points and state your stand on the topic. Restate your thesis statement and explain if it is justified.

How to Write a Response Essay in Criminal Justice

Assuming that you already have your topic, the next thing to do is write the essay. Ensure that the essay has an introduction, main body and conclusion, not forgetting a response essay thesis statement.

Start by identifying the author of the article, the title, publication date and publisher. If you are referring to a magazine or journal, mention the date of publication.

  • Discover what the author is addressing and highlight the main ideas and their supporting evidence. This will help you later when fulfilling your subparagraphs.
  • Note the quotes if you find them relevant to your paper
  • Do not describe the content in details, let your introduction hint the matter
  • Do not state your response or opinion on the work. All responses belong in the main body of the essay.

Hook and Thesis Statement

Your reader should be interested in reading your essay to the very end even if the topic is unknown or the author addressed a familiar issue. Therefore, a hook is a persuasion tool. Checked if you provoked a disrespect to a criminal system, provided the evidence of a specific case with an unfair sentence, and what you used in the author’s work to base your response essay in criminal justice on.

Describe your response in the main body.

  1. If required, enquire from your professor the points you should emphasize in the article.
  2. Ask yourself if you agree or disagree with the issue.
  3. Establish how the issue is associated with actual problems in today’s life.
  4. Establish how the issue is linked to your feelings or experience.
  5. Evaluate how the work impacts your comprehension of the subject.
  6. Assess the importance, accuracy, and relevance of the main points.
  7. Show if you recommend this work to others for reading.

Conclude all the information

  1. Do not introduce new details in the conclusion, rather, it should be a summary of the introduction and the body paragraphs.
  2. Incite your reader’s thoughts about the issue.
  3. Use a despised joke or a rhetorical question in the end that will put a full-stop on your concluding opinion on the entire issue.
  4. The conclusion should not be too long, five sentences are enough.

As for academic formatting requirements, use Times New Roman, 12 font and double-space your sentences. The length of a response paper is between 500-800 words.

Important Exercises Before you Start Writing your Response Essay in Criminal Justice

Before you begin writing your response essay, you should organize a few exercise to help you develop a structure and create ideas for your essay. Criminal justice is an academic discipline that studies delivery of justice towards criminals and victims. In reality, it includes various fields such as governmental issues, domestic affairs, business, and so on. There are different agencies dealing with justice, therefore, if you want to work with the FBI or are pursuing a career as a policeman, exercise delivering constitution clauses for imaginary cases on your essay. For example:

  1. Pick one event with defined crime and its causes. Find recent news on murder situations or kidnapping, and try and establish why one party harmed the other. Write down all the evidence, for example, A man kidnapped his son when his ex-wife was given sole custody of the child. Then, try to guess supporting motives, which can be mental problems, alcoholism, depression, and so on. Eventually, your paper should be full of your opinions about the situation that you will use further on for responding.
  2. Create an Outline. An essay comprises five obligatory paragraphs. If you follow the introduction and conclusion to the end, work on the body paragraphs. For example, to give your supervisor the reasoning behind your response, devote the first subparagraph to the kidnapping as a wonder, a description of events that the article deals with should be in the second paragraph, and the third one should cover your primary ideas and thoughts either for or against the writer.
  3. Create a Map. The map will help define professional terminology related to a criminal case. You should study or find the names of constitution clauses and judges verdicts, etc. it would be helpful if you avoided biased information, and your professor will see that the knowledge you gained in the course was fruitful.
  4. Ask Questions. The objective of this exercise is to trigger you and provoke your thought process. What are your thoughts about the article? What is fair or not fair in the article? Are you in agreement with the writer or the issue at hand or not? Can you support your viewpoint with facts or evidence?
  5. Check for Related Content Online. This is an opportunity for you to practice your terminology awareness. For example, the TED platform is an ideal online platform that hosts various experts in various criminal justice fields. Pick one video and watch it while keenly listening to the speaker, the words he uses to define the situation and how he responds to injustice. When watching, take notes.

Lastly, you can look for a sample response paper online on a similar subject matter, and see how the writer addressed the issue. These types of exercises help structure the work, see the number of sentences in each paragraph and whether the criminal justice research yields any results.

How to Choose a Criminal Justice Essay Topic

Criminal justice is a broad discipline with a vast range of topics. Depending on your focus area, you should pick the most suitable topic that talks about the objectives presented. Let us first point out that your instructor can provide a question that he/she wants you to discuss. In some case, you will be required to choose the topic. But, the most crucial thing is to know what the instructor requires of you and adjust your writing to meet these objectives. If you have not been provided with a topic, consider the issues below before you start to write a response essay in criminal justice.

  • Go to the history channel. It is vital to investigate the historical trait of the criminal justice matter that you want to write about before you start. Take a past case and critically examine it. Studying historic cases can provide an intriguing way of creating the topic of the paper.
  • Do not just Google, Research. Many people take the easy way out and connect to the internet and just Google. This does not always work out in criminal justice essays. It is essential to allocate and take time and research biographies, cases and crime stories. This exercise provides a significant understanding of the criminal justice world.
  • Be factual. Criminal law and criminal justice are closely interconnected in that they both deal with facts. Even a small error can result in a huge impact. So, you should stick to facts even when developing your essay topic. When reviewing the stories and cases, it is advisable that you play the lawyer. Reflect on both sides of the issue and make an informed conclusion. Additionally, try and be fair to the reader by giving both sides of the matter in your chosen topic.
  • Topic breakdown. A response essay topic in criminal justice should be created in a way that it captures the reader’s attention. You can do this by breaking down the topic into points and subheadings. Crime is an emotional subject that will trigger your readers’ feelings. It is vital to maintain a patterned connection between the criminal issue and the readers’’ feelings.
  • Relevance. The topic you choose should be current. It should try to address an issue that is witnessed in the contemporary society. Among the topics you can discuss in a criminal justice paper include:
  • Impeachment
  • The death penalty
  • Police brutality
  • Constitution of the USA
  • Impeachment

You have to understand your instructor’s requirements and suitably select a topic that best fits the instructions.

How to Help Polish your Paper

Improve your criminal justice research by assessing government data and peer-reviewed journals. It is not difficult to format a criminal justice essay paper, but sometimes students require a little help with the technical aspect of writing. provides custom response essay writing service covering a vast range of topics, styles, and formats. This custom essay writing service also provides practice materials to help students strengthen their writing skills.

Buy-Essay has also compiled sample response papers in criminal justice that give students a visual reference. The papers are developed by professional writers in the field and show the student how to use visual elements, quotes, and citations.

So, for all your response essay in criminal justice writing help, let be your helper. Our writers craft the essays according to your specific instructions making the essay unique and 100% original. Let us save you the stress that comes with writing academic essays and have some time to engage in other equally important activities.

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